Is Web Video a threat to TV

Fear seems to be the key that drives large corporate structures that just cannot handle the democratization of media and entertainment. The great argument the goes on “is there a business model for the new media sites like video blogs and social networking” ? There is a prime fallacy in this argument that is just so”old media’ that it stinks. Which is, that the only reason people would want to communicate, or spend time and resources in trying to communicate and get attention, is because they want to make money. Here is a conversation on the Wall Street Journal that is a really good read on this topic, and I would recomend it :

14 thoughts on “Is Web Video a threat to TV

  1. Dear Shekhar,
    The current internet business model is based totally on advertising. As web video is still in its infancy, we have the situation of ‘Winner takes it all’ as we see in the case of YouTube and Myspace. To convert it into a business model i.e. to ask if people will buy short videos or pay to logon to Youtube or Myspace, the answer would be no. Also inspite of all the talk about money moving from TV to Internet advertising, TV still remains the most important source of advertising. Smaller companies are choosing only to advertize on Internet because they do not have money to buy TV points. And regarding the threat, if the big TV networks buy the top Internet sites, then its no threat. It is like Starbucks buying Seattle’s Best coffee and people still drinking one or the other coz they don’t like the other coffee, but the same coffers are being filled. As soon as any new internet video site becomes big, one of the big media companies is going to buy it, although if the 2nd internet wave goes bust again, they might lose a lot of money for paying the premium, and we’ll be back to traditional media. People said the movie business is slowly down last year(even NY Times) and this summer has been so great with the Box Office up 15% in July – so it is impossible to predict whether the new wave will pose a challenege to TV, but right now TV has a very dominant and important position to have a credible threat from new media.
    Himanshu – NY

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  3. I agree with Mr. Starr that TV will adjust and survive as books did after movies,TV and internet.
    Before web-vedios become profitable the mobile technology will have to improve much further than even apple’s Iphone.Net/TV/phone on the same piece will have to go beyond the experimental stage.internet experience on the mobile as yet is infantile.
    until one has to get stranded to watch TV or surf the web TV will always score for the majority for visual staple.Its only if very high quality web can be provided on mobile that the web-videos on mobile could overtake TV.
    As for the non-business model/global free community approach I think internet(videos or otherwise) will always remain an alternate source of information to confirm what is being fed to us by the TV corporates and Govts.

  4. Web Video is not a threat to TV. But…..
    In the future, TV itself might be delivered through the Internet. Or Internet could just be another channel on your TV! So the distinction between Web Video and TV itself might get blurred.

  5. Dear Shekhar,
    Internet is going to be 100% free (like radio) and more accessible soon and I think in another 5-10 years even all cars are going to be equipped with the Internet like they are equipped with the radios now…Then we will be able to navigate the whole world in terms of watching, reading and listening to anything happening in and around the world.
    Traditional medium will remain the same but they might have a better carrier then to TV, more interactive as Mr.Starr said web TV. As I remember listening the cricket commentary on radio…and now watching the whole game. Eventually this whole game (traditional media) is going to have major transition into another adaptation of TV and media….It will take max 10 years. To me it doesn’t seem like this is going to be threat to TV but the whole thing(Tv&media) will go hand in hand and it is certainly going to be very huge. That’s for sure.
    Dear Himanshu,
    When Internet will have the more traffic, bigger reach and accessibility than TV, then to buy spot on the net will become more expensive than TV too.

  6. Dear Shekhar,
    Thanks for the link – it was really informative and interesting!!
    So is web video a threat to TV? Frankly I don’t know. Every new technological breakthrough means a lot of things to existing technologies. The impact could be negative or positive or both. Perhaps in this scenario, it would be both. This is good news for the viewers/audience because there is competition, forcing both technologies to keep improving – and stay on their toes, so to speak!
    I am not much of a TV person. The few times I end up in front of the TV is to bond with family or to catch up on latest music or reviews. But I know the influence of TV has never been better as many a times I feel completely clueless when everyone around me discusses some popular serial or show on TV. Web video has yet to reach that level (atleast in India) as there are still many people not too familiar with Internet and its many possibilities. But its just a matter of time, as we Indians are currently accepting change willingly (good or bad).
    Personally I am excited about the possibilities created by Web Video for creators. I have also heard a lot about Web Activism – how many people are using Web Videos to let the world know about atrocities and injustices happening around the world. Perhaps this will ultimately be the trigger for the masses to bond together and heal the world!!

  7. Art would deny sharing a bed with business, but there’s no denying that while creative arts fill your soul, you need money to fill your stomach.
    I think its healthy to have this discussion. Web media provides a great opportunity to creative people to pursue their art and be appreciated for it from across the world. Web being a platform like no other for such. All you need is a internet connection and creativity flowing through your brain, to showcase your work to the cosmos.
    I believe the threat comes not just from loosing the advertising moolah for traditional media, but also from securing control over the collective media brain. Not to get conspiratorial but control on media does give you a control of what is being exposed to the mass. I think it is important and required to discuss money at an initial stage of this fresh new media channel, as it will encourage individuals to pursue their creativity independently. I think it would do great specially for local journalism.
    So I would say “Go YouTube! Go Revver! Go all you web peeps!” Show me something worth seeing and I will pay you for it.

  8. RA,
    Wait till they (youtube, Meta, Revver..blah blah) show you….that even if you don’t want to see it , you will still have to pay for it, Like you pay for ur cable TV now. Its not the art which sells, If you have an outlet to sell you can even sell a bull shit. And web will emerge as a strongest medium (outlet) to sell anything like today’s TV. Its not creativity, which sells in this world. BUT IT’S ABOUT WHO HAS MORE POWER TO SELL..IT! (EVEN War can be sold and everyone bought it) Now you have a power… You can make Mogambo a hero and MR. India a villain and still can sell it. Art was never important, important is an outlet which sells that art. And Billions of dollars being put in this outlet.Can you imagine someone come with an offer of 1.5 billion to buy Doordarshan or some other channel on Indian TV.
    Anyhow what ever happens things will remain same for (Hum log)common man.

  9. Sanjay,
    I agree that the common man stays just that; common; one of the millions. But I truly believe the web medium gives each “one” a chance to make themselves be heard/read/seen. And most importantly for each “common one” of us to take advantage of this opportunity to pick and choose what they would really like and take it forward to others.
    I think iTunes is a great example of this. It in some way separates the music from the corporate entertainment gods and helps indie bands and artists get directly paid for their work without the middle management.
    I think this is what the video sites are trying to achieve and I think this is a great step forward.

  10. A conversation with myself…
    As shekhar said in his interview
    Back to Shekar’s topic… whatever kind of business Internet brings but it is going to definitely bring up some fresh thoughts and good talent .Remember the old days people use to go to mandi house and NSD(national school of drama) to get talent.Now the whole world is a place of talent and we can find them by just a click.Every one in the field of creating anything …now will have to perform not manipulate. But when Internet will become big, Believe me it will become a place of manipulation too, cause at that time it will be a major media place, which will operate with money.
    The main thought is “whatever we achieve and no matter what we discover ,we still remain same.”
    We couldn’t live happy in cave age , and we are not happy in cyber age.(more people get killed everyday now)
    Where as the making money is concerned…That was always an idea and will always remain idea.Lets keep on discussing may be one day we’ll find an answer. Where money and peace both will me made and whole world will agree to one point of view.

  11. This is my favorite topic, Shekhar!!
    Conventional television is more of a passive medium, suited for people who like to be served on a routine and scheduled basis. Its a switch on – keep watching . at the most you have the choice of flipping to your niche channel, but you dont have control on the exact content.
    Web on the other hand allows you to access content, On demand, On your interest and at any time you wish so long as you have a good internet connection. All this comes at an effort of sifting through a pile (search technologies are improving though) before you arrive at your content. Unlike the friendly clicks of the TV remote, the keystrokes and mouse-pushes require more efforts.
    Web videos also give us the independence of creating our own video channels filled with our favorite videos, of our own making or syndicated.
    From a marketer’s perspective, things do get interesting with web penetration hopefully going northward. A sanitary napkin advertisement may not annoy a male audience while watching a TV drama, since it now has a choice of contextually being shown to its right consumers. Profiling and targeting of advertising is easier.
    If you think thats still the old way of advertising, today marketers themselves blog and participate in forums in live conversations with their customers. I think thats the way to go for the new medium, while the old idiot box will continue to serve its genre.

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